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Christ Crowned with Thorns

Hendrick ter Brugghen1620

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst
Copenhagen, Denmark

Christ is shown with his head down, quietly suffering in the forecourt of Pilate’s palace, surrounded by jeering soldiers.

The scene depicts one of the torments that Christ was subjected to on the long Friday that ended in his death upon the Cross. Mockingly he has been called the King of the Jews, and now his tormentors have crowned him with thorns and wrapped him in a scarlet cloak to indicate his kingly stature.

One of the soldiers kneels before Christ in mock humility, handing him a stick in lieu of a sceptre.

The Utrecht Caravaggists

Hendrick Ter Brugghen spent his formative years in Rome where the painter Caravaggio (1571-1610) became the main influence. Upon his return Ter Brugghen became the prime mover of a new school, the Utrecht Caravaggists, whose trademark style was an insistent naturalism combined with a high-contrast vein of painting known as clair obscur (light-dark).

The North European tradition

Even so, Ter Brugghen’s painting did not completely abandon North European tradition. The soldiers’ leering faces and the slightly angular body language has roots stretching back to late Gothic altarpieces and print series depicting the Passion, e.g. those by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528).

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  • Title: Christ Crowned with Thorns
  • Creator: Hendrick ter Brugghen
  • Date Created: 1620
  • Værktekst: Kristus sidder med bøjet hoved stille lidende i forgården til Pilatus’ palads, omringet af soldater, der slår og vrænger ad ham. Fortællingen beretter om en af de pinsler, Kristus blev udsat for, den lange fredag, som endte med døden på korset. Hånende er han blevet kaldt jødernes konge, og nu har hans plageånder kronet ham med en krans af torne og iført ham en kappe, der med sin skarlagensrøde farve skal give ham kongestatus. En af soldaterne knæler ned foran ham i foregivet ydmyghed og rækker ham en pind som scepter. Utrechtcaravaggisterne Hendrick Ter Brugghen tilbragte sine formative år i Rom, hvor maleren Caravaggio (1571-1610) blev den afgørende impuls. Hjemme igen blev Ter Brugghen primus motor for en ny skole, Utrechtcaravaggisterne, hvis kendemærke var en påtrængende naturalisme kombineret med en kontrastfuld malemåde, der går under betegnelsen clair-obscur (lys-mørke). Den nordeuropæiske tradition Ter Brugghens maleri har dog ikke sluppet den nordeuropæiske tradition fuldstændigt. Soldaternes vrængeansigter og det lidt kantede kropssprog har aner tilbage i det sengotiske altertavlemaleri og grafikkens passionsserier, som for eksempel Albrecht Dürers (1471-1528).
  • Teknik: Olie på lærred
  • Proveniens: Erhvervet 1755
  • Provenance: Acquired 1755
  • Physical Dimensions: w240 x h207 cm (Without frame)
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=2699
  • Dansk Titel: Kristi tornekroning
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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